Ground Water Assimilative Capacity
Groundwater assimilative capacity: the key to improved freshwater quality. The Government’s ‘Freshwater reform 2013 and beyond’ requests that the value of a fresh water system’s assimilative capacity to New Zealand society should be maximised without breaching water quality limits. Therefore, in close collaboration with our regional council partners, we are developing the information, methods and implementation tools that allow the groundwater system’s assimilative capacity to be assessed for selected management units. This will happen through filling important knowledge gaps on the pathways that transfer nitrogen, phosphorus and pathogenic microbes from land to freshwater and reliably predicting the groundwater system’s denitrification potential in our partner regions. Advanced up-scaling and model reduction techniques are being developed that allow for accurate description of groundwater quality at the management unit scale. This research programme is a partnership between ESR, Lincoln Agritech and AquaLinc Research.